Cramer: Shorting this stock? Be prepared to pay the price
The cold weather snap and ice storm hitting a wide swath of the country this week highlights an important trend with stocks tied to the construction sector, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Wednesday.
Mainly, don't bet against them, he said.
"Don't forget, it's cold around the country," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." "There's a ton of downside to the cold. ... [But] the houses, the roofs, they break down. The potholes, you need construction equipment. My conclusion? Those who are short Caterpillar are going to pay the price."
(Read more: Behind the massive bet against Caterpillar)
Investors should also look into insulation companies, Cramer said, especially as states that usually see mild and snowless winters become paralyzed under ice and snow this season.
In the first half hour of trading Wednesday, for example, shares of building materials company Owens Corning jumped nearly 14 percent on news that its insulation business returned to profitability during the last quarter.
(Check out what Owens Corning stock is doing now.)
"Insulation was always bad," Cramer said. "Profits were endangered, but not this quarter. Insulation is back and it's bigger than ever."
Cramer said his cold-weather strategy could be part of a larger trend—increased nonresidential construction—that may start with simple pothole repairs from the winter weather.
"We're seeing residential construction staying strong but you wouldn't see that from the housing numbers," Cramer said. "I think you're going to see nonresidential come on. This is something that a lot of companies are buzzing about. Nonresidential construction is a really huge employer."